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The role of the Croatian oral literature in shaping the cultural identity of southern Baranja


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Predojević, Željko. (2017). The role of the Croatian oral literature in shaping the cultural identity of southern Baranja. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Croatian Language and Literature.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture) [mentor Pšihistal, Ružica].

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Southern or Croatian Baranja is a part of the Republic of Croatia that never occupied a significant place in studies and researches of the Croatian humanistic science. We can identify several reasons for this lack of scientific attention. The first would be the fact that Baranja has been part of the Republic of Croatia for less than a hundred years and that the ethnic groups who inhabited the region were migrating during its history faster than in other parts of Croatia until the Croatian War of Independence. In fact, we can talk about Baranja as a part of Croatia only since the First World War peace agreement called Treaty of Trianon (1920); before that the region was a part of the Hungarian Empire. After the territory, which is the present-day Croatian part of Baranja, was separated from the Hungarian Empire – in humanistic science, especially historiography – it was named Southern Baranja to differentiate it from the whole historical and geographical region called Baranja. In the last two hundred years, the region has been inhabited by different ethnic groups, but the most numerous were Croats, Hungarians, Serbs, Germans and Romani. Each of these ethnic groups had their own traditional culture, so it is obvious that the current regional identity of Southern Baranja should be observed as multicultural and multi-ethnic, especially if we add different Croatian ethnic subgroups to the overall picture. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the region had been inhabited mainly by Croatian ethnic subgroup of Šokci (among other ethnic groups), which can be divided into two separated groups – Podunavska group (the one which lived by the river of Danube) and Podravska group (the one which lived by the river of Drava). After the Second World War, due to agrarian reform and colonization and starting from 1945, the region was colonized by other Croatian ethnic subgroups – mainly from the regions of Međimurje and Zagorje (Kaikavian group) and some from Podravina and Dalmatia. It is interesting to observe acculturalization of traditional cultures and oral literature of those colonized Croatian ethnic subgroups in already existing one in the region. Therefore, the title of the thesis – The role of the Croatian oral literature in shaping the cultural identity of Southern Baranja – does not refer to the whole Croatian oral literature, but to the one which Croatian ethnic subgroups in Southern Baranja left to Croatian humanistic science to study. This thesis deals with the problem of cultural identity of Southern Baranja and tries to identify what the role of Croatian oral literature from Baranja County was in the process of its shaping. In the specific geographical territory (Southern Baranja) – in the context of oral literature and traditional culture – elements of cultural identity have been marked in oral literature from its first records through the 20th century until today. Then, with the methods of analysis and systematization, we try to observe its elements in today’s cultural representation and cultural memory. The assumption is that the regional identity of Southern Baranja is multicultural, that it has been shaped by the multi-ethnic society in the specific geographical territory and that this regional characteristic has been an important part of shaping a cultural identity of the region. In other words, we will try to comprehend to what extent the Croatian part of traditional and/or folk culture, especially the oral literature, has contributed to the process of shaping the cultural identity of Southern (Croatian) Baranja. To this day, the oral literature from the Baranja County hasn't been fully explored; there is only a few field research. Moreover, their findings haven’t even been properly systematized or analysed as they were undertaken mainly as a part of ethnomusicological activities. To address this issue, the starting point of this research was a thorough description of existing records. Because of the overall lack of scientific sources needed for our study, we used a method of field research which was aimed to gather more oral or ethnographic records. The research was conducted in villages of Baranjsko Petrovo Selo, Branjina, Čeminac, Gajić, Grabovac, Karanac, Kneževo, Kozarac, Petlovac and Popovac and the town of Beli Manastir from the year of 2009 until today. We intentionally chose locations which haven’t been covered by field works undertaken previously. The main methods of gathering information from informants and narrators were methods of open interview and open conversation, which proved to be a good strategy because narrators talked about stories they found especially important. Afterward, we summarized all new records we had recorded and identified the main identification markers in them. We mainly collected folk oral tales – out of 111 oral tales in the corpus we collected 55 of folk oral tales and just about 30 poems because narrators were more motivated to talk than sing. We mainly used a method of digitalized audio recording; when narrators didn’t want to be recorded, we wrote down the records. After we collected a part of the corpus, together with the one we collected from other scripts and papers, we started to systemize and classify it. Systematization of the corpus was guided by genre and thematic motif guidelines, respecting customary ritual context. In the process of analysis and interpretation, the markers of oral literature which have a role in the shaping of the cultural identity of the region were marked out and they were separately described, analysed and evaluated.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: south Baranya, oral literature, traditional culture, cultural identity
Subjects: Slavic languages and literatures > Croatian language and literature
Departments: Department of Croatian Language and Literature
Supervisor: Pšihistal, Ružica
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 13:54
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2017 13:54

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